2 Mar 2011

Flosse has case to answer over Tahiti spy unit

10:21 am on 2 March 2011

The judicial authorities in French Polynesia have rejected a bid by a former president, Gaston Flosse, to have his indictment dropped for his role in his now defunct intelligence unit.

Tahitipresse says the charges now stand that he was complicit in invading privacy as his spies kept a tab on a series of individuals.

The authorities also upheld the validity of an additional complaint brought by a lawyer, Annie Rousseau, and a magazine publisher, Alex du Prel, who claim that there has been an abuse of public funds by staff the intelligence unit whose activities were illegal.

There is no longer any record of any of the unit's activities which was publicly funded for seven years until 2004.

If Mr Flosse is found guilty, he can be jailed for up to a year.

Mr Flosse has reportedly said that the French security service and the French high commission were fully informed about his unit's activities.